Music and sound effects are key to having a great gaming experience. Having the right pair of gaming headphones will help you enhance that experience with a good sound, a comfortable design, and a reliable microphone.
This means gaming headsets are a little more specialized than typical headphones. They usually have more dedicated software support, lots of active features and customization options, as well as a better mic. However, they're also bulkier and not ideal to use outdoors and are often limited by the range of their transmitter. Furthermore, if you do not care about microphones, then most wired, critical listening headphones would be a good option.
So far, we've reviewed gaming 17 headsets and below are our recommendations for the best gaming headphones.
Best Gaming Headset
Gaming headsets in this price range usually deliver the best latency and microphone performance suitable for gaming. They're typically very comfortable since you'll be wearing them for a while and come with a great set of active features and software support so that you can customize their performance to sound just the way you like. They're also better built than the cheaper recommendations and offer the convenience and ease of use of a wireless design.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 are the best, most well-rounded, gaming headset that we've tested so far. They have a sturdy build quality and a comfortable design with breathable pads so that your ears do not get too hot during long gaming sessions.
They have incredibly low latency, great customisation option through the SteelSeries engine software, and come with a variety of connection options, unlike the Astro A50, which make them a more versatile option to use with your PS4 (wirelessly) or with your Xbox One (via the audio jack of the controller). This also means they will work with your phone when wired and continue playing audio passively even when the batteries die. Unfortunately, they can be a bit tight on some heads since the frame of the headband is not adjustable.
Better Sounding Alternative
If you want a better sounding and more comfortable alternative to the SteelSeries Arctis 7, then consider the Astro A50. They're considerably more expensive but provide a few features absent on the Arctis 7.
They have a more feature-packed software, great customization options, low latency and a better power saving mode with a gyroscope sensor that will shut off the headphones faster if they're laying down on your desk or couch. Their dock also gives you an easy way to charge the headphones when they're not in use and acts as a hub with multiple audio ports for your devices. They have an optical, TRS and USB input but, unfortunately, the doc is platform specific and will not work with PS4 if you got the Xbox version.
The Logitech G533 offer the best bang for your bucks if you need a great gaming headphone but don't want to spend over a 100$. They sound a bit better than the SteelSeries before EQ and have the best implementation of the Logitech software so far.
They're not as practical or as versatile as the SteelSeries Arctis 7 though, and like the Astro A50, you cannot remove the mic and they only connect via their dedicated transmitters. This makes them somewhat limited to only indoor use but for gaming, this isn't much of an issue. Unfortunately, they're not as well built or as durable as the first two recommendations. They also have a worse mic.
Best Budget Gaming Headset
The gaming headsets in this price range typically do not offer as robust customisation options as their more expensive counterparts. They're also often wired which is suitable for gaming thanks to the low latency but not as convenient as a wireless design. On the upside, they usually have a decent sound, a good microphone, and simple controls. They're also more mobile friendly since they're mostly wired.
The Logitech G430 are the best gaming headphones in the budget range. They're not as convenient as the G533 since they're wired but they support the Logitech gaming software which gives them a wealth of customization options not typically available at this price range.
They have a surprisingly balanced sound that's good for gaming and even critical listening. They're also comfortable and breathable but the fabric is not as nice on the skin as faux leather. Unfortunately, they're not the best-built headphones: they feel cheaper and weaker than the Hyperx Cloud Stinger.
Alternative with a Better Microphone
If you play a lot of online, multiplayer games, and need the best mic performance in the budget range, then get the HyperX Cloud Stinger. They're not as versatile as the more expensive headsets in the HyperX lineup since you can't remove the mic or detach the audio cable.
However, at their price, they deliver a decently balance audio reproduction, an easy to use and comfortable design and more isolation due to their more typical closed-back earcups and pads. Unfortunately, this also means they make your ears quite warm during long gaming sessions and they do not have the customisation options or sound quality of the Logitech G430.
- Corsair Void RGB. A good wireless gaming headset, low latency, breathable and unique design. Slightly weak build quality and poor isolation. See our review
- Logitech G930. Great features and customization options. Average but slightly inconsistent sound and microphone quality. See our review
- Logitech G433. Versatile design for casual use. Great mic and sound quality but wired designed a bit less convenient than the G533. See our review
- Creative Sound BlasterX H5. Good build quality and comfortable casual design. Wired connection is latency-free but limited in range. See our review
- HyperX Cloud II. Comfortable and well-built design. Slightly lacking in features and wired design, not as convenient. A pricier alternative to the Cloud Stinger.
- Sennheiser Game One. Good open sound and a great mic. A bit too pricey for their lack of features and what they have to offer. See our review
- Turtle Beach Elite 800. A gaming headset with a low latency dock and Bluetooth. Poor control scheme and mediocre overall performance. See our review
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best gaming headphones to buy for most people in each price range. We factor in the price (a cheaper headphone wins over a pricier one if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors and availability (no headphones that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our reviews for headphones that are good for gaming. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect headphones. Personal taste, preference and listening habits will matter more in your selection, especially if you do not care about having a microphone or wireless features.